Monday, April 22, 2013

A To Z Blogging Challenge: S is For Sebaceous Cyst

Info pulled from Medline Plus-
"A sebaceous cyst is a closed sac under the skin filled with a cheese-like or oily material. Sebaceous cysts most often arise from swollen hair follicles. Skin trauma can also induce a cyst to form. A sac of cells is created into which a protein called keratin is secreted. These cysts are usually found on the face, neck, and trunk. They are usually slow- growing, painless, freely movable lumps beneath the skin. Occasionally, however, a cyst will become inflamed and tender."

When I was 4 years old I developed a small round bump on the left side of my face. My dad thought it was a pimple and tried several times to 'pop' it. Because of my dad's constant picking at it and squeezing it, the darn thing became inflamed and very sore so my mom finally took me to the doctor who said it wasn't a pimple and sent me to UCLA hospital. *We were living in California at the time and that's the hospital I was born at*

I remember seeing several different doctors and then sitting in the center of a large room with at least 10 doctors in chairs sitting in a circle around me explaining to my mom what they wanted to do to get rid of this lump on my cheek.

One doctor said he wanted to make an incision in my scalp all the way around my ear, pull the flap of skin over, exposing the lump underneath and remove it. That would have left a huge scar and thankfully my mom said she wanted to hear other options because that sounded extreme for such a small lump.

They finally decided to make a small incision right next to the lump on my left cheek and remove the lump that way.

I was 5 years old when I went in for the surgery on my face and when I came out I had a 3 inch incision on the left side of my face. They told my mom that it was a Sebaceous Cyst and they think they got it all and it shouldn't come back.

Fast forward 5 years to when I was 10 years old...the lump on my face returned and my mom took me to the doctor to have it looked at and of course they decided to have it removed once again. When I came out of surgery I was told he went in through the same old scar but had to make it a little now I had a 3 1/2 inch incision on the left side of my face, which left a vertical 3 1/2 inch scar on the left side of my face.

I had names like scarface while in school because of it, but I got through it and didn't think much of it until about 3 years ago when a small lump formed on my left shoulder...yep you guessed it..another Sebaceous Cyst...only this time a little while after noticing it, it started to get really big, inflamed, and hurt like you can't imagine.

I don't like doctors so for 2 weeks I just dealt with it until I went in the hospital with a Irregular heartbeat one night. I spent a couple of nights in the hospital in the Cardiac Care Until on the heart monitors while they figured out what was causing my irregular heartbeat, which turns out is no big deal, just something I have to deal with. But while they were doing the work up and checking my lungs ect...the ER doc saw the bandage hubby had put on my shoulder and asked what it was from. I told him that I had big pimple on my back and had some Neosporin on it and just covered it with a bandage, he asked if he could look at it and when he pulled the bandage off he gave me a look like, Oh you have got to be kidding me. He said, "A little pimple, huh? That's more like a huge abscess that needs to be drained and you'll need some antibiotics for. You were gonna have that looked at right?"

I was like yeah while I shook my head He laughed at me and said since it was so big it was gonna be painful and let me tell was.

He numbed it up, which hurt like a mother and then drained it and told me it was a cyst that had gotten infected and turned into an abscess. When he got all the infection out I started feeling what he was doing and he said this was the part that was gonna hurt and he started popping small pieces of fat inside the hole he made in my shoulder, he said this would help it heal. Then he packed it with gauze, which was going to have to be removed in two days and repacked so the infection could drain out and he put a dressing on it.

The whole time he was doing this my heart monitors were going off like crazy, my heartbeat was all over the place and they saw the irregular heartbeat that I had been feeling for a few hours before going in there.

My advice to you...if you have a small bump under your skin..leave it alone and have a doctor check it out. If it turns out to be a cyst, have it removed before it gets infected because an infected cyst is painful as all get out.


  1. We all have ignored one or the other medical condition in our lives. Mostly more than one conditions and mostly when we were young :-)

    This A-Z blogging thing is really bringing a whole rainbow of aspects of you as a person, a mom and a rat lover.

    Hope you are completely fine now.

  2. They sound like horrid things. My dad is terrible when it comes to not fessing up about his health. He's his own worst enemy :(

  3. Ugh! My sister has several of these on her head, under her hair. Luckily they aren't infected. Doesn't sound like fun at all.

    Rinelle Grey

  4. Ick, and yeah the things sure crop up, hate medical crap

  5. Ouch! Sorry to hear about all of your medical issues and hope you are better soon!

  6. KK, Thanks. I still have the irregular heartbeat but the cyst is all healed up.

    Shelley, I just really hate going to the doctor.

    Rinelle, That sounds like a bad place to have them.

    Pat, Ick..very well said.

    Elf, all better now, thanks.

  7. Ugh, that sounds horrid. I very much hope that is your last run in with such things.

    Thanks for visiting my blog for S, good luck with the rest of the challenge.

    Tasha's Thinkings

  8. Wow! I'm glad you got through it OK. I just hope you never have to do that again!

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog:

  9. At any one time I usually have about three or four sebaceous cysts on my head. My dad had one on his (bald) head for years and one of my sisters had one on her arm, too. It seems they run in families. I had only one for years and then slowly developed two more. When I was in my mid-twenties the original one got to a size where it really was bothering me so I went in to have it removed. And got the next one down in size done at the same time, which turned out to be a big of an ice-berg one, smaller to the touch but under the skin far bigger than the original one. I was warned though that new ones would probably pop up somewhere else and it didn't take long before that happened. I had another removed about a year ago and yet another is slowly getting to the size where I'm going to have to get it done, too. It's worst when they come up at a point on your head near the top/back because when you lean your head on something the entire weight goes on the cyst unless you move your head to the side. On the other hand, when my nephews were younger I used to have quite a lot of fun grossing them out by letting them put a hand on my head. It's not much of a silver lining but, you know, you take what you can get. Glad to hear that the infection cleared up.


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